Market Research

Market research is the gathering, structuring and analysis of information on products, services, markets and market structures. Market research is a fundamental step in entering new markets, an obvious step in exploiting existing markets better, a crucial step during the restructuring of markets and often the saving of markets in decline. Without market research, organisations do not have the ability to make informed risk/reward decisions in sales, marketing, joint ventures and acquisitions. Z/Yen has developed its market research capabilities in support of its clients both as part of larger assignments or a specific project on its own.

Outsourcing Markets

For instance, for one new entrant to the business to business services sector, Z/Yen researched both national and international markets which provided them with the information they required to get financial backing of several million. Working with the client over the past few years, Z/Yen continues to help them evaluate new markets, to revitalise old markets and to ensure that their continuing investment decisions are made with a realistic appraisal of the markets they enter. Over time, the joint team has developed a multi-layer model which helps them to segment and position products and services (see diagram). A typical research pattern might consist of five stages:

  • Targeting study: to identify companies within a sector, to quantify sectors and to highlight new or adjacent sectors for further investigation;
  • Issue identification and formulation of offer: structured interviews covering size and scope of potential customer activity, existing products/services, current purchase criteria and trends combined with database and financial analysis leading to a formulated offer;
  • Opportunity quantification: having formulated a product or service offer, further structured interviews, questionnaires or web-polling to establish probabilities of spend, movement to new product, service or supplier, information channels and timing;
  • Product/service launch programme: planning and developing a launch or expansion building on the contacts made, developing new targets and adjusting the percentage spent in marketing areas;
  • Segmentation and refinement: ongoing work to analyse the returns, setting sales and commission targets, developing target ‘take’ and return figures.

Z/Yen has conducted market research in many sectors, although skills are strongest in business to business services, professional services and high technology. Market research clients have included outsourcing companies, software firms, electrical and medical instrument manufacturers, telecommunications companies, accountancy partnerships, bulk chemical suppliers, textile companies, industrial valve exporters, banking services, coatings and special papers. Z/Yen also works with specialists on information gathering in particular sectors, uses automated tools such as PropheZy for providing an ongoing service and integrates market research with its proprietary risk/reward methodology and sales processes such as PPRISM.

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